The popularity of Basketmouth continues to spread like the length of his jokes. The entertainer has been making his fans laugh all over the world in his shows and comic films for two decades now. His career achievements have now encompassed comedy and he can now be called an entrepreneur. He has had his bad moments like his expulsion as an EU Ambassador following his silly joke on rape. Here is everything you need to know about him.
Basketmouth: Age and early beginning
The birth name of Basketmouth is Bright Ekpocha. The comedian and actor hails from Abia State Nigeria but was born in Lagos State on September 14, 1978. He attended both his primary and secondary education in Apapa, Lagos and before proceeding to the University of Benin, Edo State where he obtained a degree in Sociology and Anthropology.
Comedy was not the first calling of Basketmouth as he started off by playing drums and was so good with the sticks. He soon got bored and became a rapper as he formed a group called “Da Psychophats” with 7 members. They went on shows but separated before their one year anniversary. Basketmouth formed another rap group known as “Da Oddz” with his brother Godwin and Muyiwa Osunrobi and just like the former group, it never reach enviable heights and they broke up.
Basketmouth is 41 years old.
The career of Basketmouth can be broken into three parts namely; comedy, music, and acting. He started his career as a standup comedian but his jokes were hitting the walls and there were times when he was booed off the stage. But the booing did not affect his confidence level as even made him better.
Luckily for him, he met Alibaba, Nigeria’s veteran comedian who paved the way for him by taking him along to comedy shows. Baskemouth performed at Motherland where singer Lagbaja performs almost every month, he also started performing in the comedy show “Nights of a Thousand Laughs” alongside top comedians.
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Basketmouth continued to enjoy a mentorship protégée relationship with Alibaba which ushered in more comedy gigs he wouldn’t have landed if he was working alone. His career receiver a boost in the year 2000 when he started anchoring a monthly show for the defunct Platanshun Boiz group that had singers like Tuface, Faze and Blackface in Ikeja. He has performed on stage with comedians like Julius Agwu, Bovi, Buchi, and comedian turned filmmaker AY. Basketmouth has taken his art outside the country and has shared the same comedy stage with international acts like Kevin Hart, Snoop Dog, Trevor Noah, and Chris Brown. Every year, he organizes his own comedy show titled “Lord of the Ribs”.
Basketmouth has starred in some films but the sitcom “My Flatmates” is arguably his best-known performance as an actor. Although the sitcom used to air around the year 2000 with Kayode Peters, the inability of the show to gather dust led to its crash. In 2017, Basketmouth revived the sitcom with his comedian friends like Buchi, Okey Bakassi, and Frank Donga, and a host of other comedians. The series focuses on four friends who share a flat and their quest to survive life challenges. The sitcom airs on DSTV ‘s Mnet African Magic Showcase and African Magic Family.
Basketmouth has released a couple of songs as a rapper, none of the songs were popular hits so he had to settle for his true calling.
Basketmouth: That controversial joke
Most times, comedians tend to make a joke that is off the mark or jokes that are offensive, degrading and wrong in all manners. Jokes on rape are always outside the spectrum of moral compass, they also take away the empathy that should be channeled to rape victims.
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In 2014, the entertainer made a joke in which he said that Nigerian women deserved to be raped in their second date if they refuse to play ball and have been extravagant. There was outrage as he was attacked on social media, blogs, radio, and elsewhere. This led to the European Union dropping him as their ambassador to sex and gender-based violence. The comedian later took to his Instagram account to apologize over the joke and pleaded with fans to forgive him.
“I was recently presented an opportunity to create awareness on the efforts of the EU to bring support to fighting this scourge,” he said, “it was a no-brainer for me. I refused any compensation for it and volunteered to lend my voice because it’s our fight, it’s not for the EU. It’s for my girls’ future.”
“Unfortunately, a few years ago I shared up a Facebook post that I thought was shedding light through humor to the entitled crude and very present behavioral patterns of some African men who equate spending to sexual favors, but I also realized then that women actually have to face this daily and it’s harrowing and I deeply apologized for it,” the star concluded.
Marriage and Net worth
Basketmouth met his wife Elsie in 2003. Their bond became stronger in 2004 and soon they started talking about matrimony. In November 2010, Basketmouth finally tied the knot with Elsie and they have welcomed two kids together Jason and Janelle. In 2018, they celebrated their 8 years marriage anniversary in a big way.
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Basketmouth is among the successful comedians in Africa. Although the world is becoming more like an unsmiling place, comedy shows are now being replaced with some events especially in Nigeria, Basketmouth is still relevant in status and in finance.
Basketmouth’s net worth is estimated to be around 2 million dollars. He is a global act and this figure might even be little judging from the fact that he has businesses in Nigeria and has not slowed down since he took comedy and filmmaking very serious. But this is not given, the figure might even be way below. This is Nigeria where figures are never truly known and were the list of relations is endless; this is the world of show business where bank balance doesn’t always equate stature.
He is just in his early 40s and life seems moving very well for him.
Image Source: Qed.ng